About Carmel Indiana

We're Number One – Living in Carmel

The news flew over computers, cell phones and televison. In CNN Money Magazine’s September issue, Carmel had been named the #1 best place to live in America for 2012 with a population between 50,000 – 300,000. To quote the article, “…this formerly sleepy burb – which clocked in at No. 14 on our list two years ago – has transformed itself into the ideal place to work and play.” 
According to the Carmel Chamber of Commerce, “Money Magazine staff members knew we were developing a vibrant walkable community because of earlier visits, but it was the completion of many projects, the growth of urban areas, the thriving business community and the liveliness of the Arts & Design District and City Center that helped move us into number one.”
How CNN Money picked Carmel as its top city was the result of hard data and reporting. They started with 744 U.S. towns whose population fell within the targeted range and cut them down to 401 based on the following criteria: delete places whose median family income was more than 200% or less than 85% of the state average, as well as those with more than 95% of one race, and those with poor education and crime scores. To reach a total of 360 candidates, retirement communities and towns with major job losses were eliminated, while the remainder were picked based on job growth, home affordability, school quality, health care, arts and leisure, safety and “several ease-of-living” measures. 100 towns were then chosen after economic factors plus jobs, housing and happiness were evaluated. Each one of these 100 towns was visited and residents interviewed “to assess traffic, parks and gathering places, and consider intangibles like community spirit.” The winner was selected from a final pool of 29.
What a fantastic honor for everyone who calls Carmel home! In this issue as well as the following three, we’ll explore four different living environments that help make our city so appealing to residents. Each comes with its own features and benefits and all offer a range of lifestyle choices unique to our community. We’ll start with one of the newest developments, the spectacular multi-use Sophia Square in downtown Carmel. From there we’ll examine planned communities such as The Village of West Clay, followed by profiles of diverse single-family neighborhoods, and finally complete the tour in a revitalized Old Town Carmel.  
Carmel Best Place To Live In America 
Statistics courtesy of 2010 Census demographic profile and CNN Money Magazine.
Median family income (per year) $120,714
State sales tax 7.00%
State income tax rate 3.40%
(highest bracket)
State income tax rate 3.40%
(lowest bracket) 
Job growth % (2000-2011) 26.44% 
Median home price $268,750 
Average property taxes (2010) $2,203
Colleges, universities and professional 
schools (within 30 miles) 12 
Test scores reading 35.4% 
(% above state average)
Test scores math 33.4%
(% above state average)
% students attending public/private 
schools (located within town limits) 93.8/6.2
Quality of life
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 1
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 11
% population walk or bike to work 1.2% 
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters (within 15 miles) 24 
Restaurants (within 15 miles) 2,240 
Bars (within 15 miles) 221 
Public golf courses (within 30 miles) 154 
Libraries (within 15 miles) 54 
Museums (accredited by AAM; 8
within 30 miles)
Meet the neighbors
Median age 34.4 
Completed at least some college
(% of residents) 85.0% 
Married % 72.0% 
Divorced % 5.2%